Please tell me this is just a phase…or we are about to be really broke :|

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Our Great Pyr pup is just shy of 5 months old. We noticed he liked to hold rocks in his mouth, so we started doing a lot of work to try and keep him from making that more of a habit. He knows leave it fairly well, we removed rocks in all the areas we possibly could (we live in the country and on a gravel road), and try to keep our eyes on him at all times when we are outside. Well… I think we underestimated how bad this was and how hard it is to always watch your puppy. We had to take him to the vet last week because he was not eating, lethargic, and then threw up bile. Turns out, he swallowed a rock. We felt like terrible parents. We were able to remove it, a billion dollars later. Obviously completely worth it for our sweet dude; still we are not only terrified it will happen again, but can't keep affording it if it happens more. We invested in a basket muzzle which is really hard for us to use, but we are making it happen if that is what it takes.

I asked our Vet if it's possible he isn't getting some nutrients, and he said this habit of putting rocks in his mouth (and even eating them) is completely normal puppy behavior and that he will likely grow out of it by 6-9 months. While that was encouraging, it still worries us. Of course we are working even harder to prevent it, but it feels so extreme. I almost feel like he is on house arrest because we are just so nervous about him being outside even with us watching him like hawks. I mean, he picked another rock up when my dad accidentally let him out. We were able to reach in and pulled it out of his mouth quickly (completely throwing all training out the window, ugh), but I think both my boyfriend and I are feeling just completely defeated.

If anyone else has experienced something similar, I would really appreciate and love to hear how you worked through it? Is it possible he has PICA? Should we consider trying a different kibble? We just started adding raw Kiefer/Goat milk to his kibble to add more nutrients. Not sure if we are just coming off of a trauma or if we need to consider doing even more.

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